Today, a cross-industry group representing Canadian media companies from across the country issued a joint declaration to Parliament setting out a plan of action to support Canadian news sources.
In an open letter to the leaders of the federal parties, the group expressed its concern about the health of Canadian media and called on Parliament and government agencies to take action quickly on such measures as fair competition, copyright protections, and tax changes, including applying Sec. 19 of the Income Tax Act to digital companies.
“We are making this declaration now to highlight what further action government can take, and to demonstrate that there is agreement on what that action should be,” the declaration says.
The informal group began meeting last summer after CBC/Radio-Canada asked the Public Policy Forum for help to co-chair a dialogue with newspaper publishers to explore how they could work together to strengthen the news industry in a number of areas such as policy development. Some individual publishers are exploring content sharing and other business issues, too.
As a result of those discussions, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Winnipeg Free Press launched a pilot project in Winnipeg, sharing resources on weekends and cross-linking trusted news content on their websites to better serve that community. The group is continuing to explore other areas of possible collaboration.
The declaration ends with an invitation to Canadians to support the local media in their community:
“The journalism being produced every day by people in your community is important. Now more than ever. We encourage you to support Canadian media in your community,” the letter says. “A strong democracy depends on diverse sources of trusted news. We all have a role to play.”
For media inquiries: